Dr. Sonya Dougal serves as the Director of Life Sciences Discussion Groups at the New York Academy of Sciences. In this role, she provides strategic development and oversight of an annual portfolio of 30 scientific workshops on pressing topics across the life sciences and biomedical research. The mission of this program is to build and convene communities of academic, industry, and government scientists, clinicians, and others with similar scientific interests for the open exchange of ideas on the frontiers of science.
Dr. Dougal has over 14 years of experience in scientific research and program management in academia, industry, and the non-profit sector. She was most recently Director of the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Veterans Center at NYU Langone where she oversaw the administration of a $30 million program dedicated to discovering biomarkers for Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury and providing mental health care for veterans and their families. Previously, she worked at the Academy as a member of the Conferences Department and was the founding Director of the Academy’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Initiative. Dr. Dougal was a Project Manager at Eric Marder Associates, a market research company, and served as a scientific consultant for R. G. Niederhoffer Capital Management.
Dr. Dougal received her bachelor's degree with honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She was the recipient of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health for her postdoctoral training as a cognitive neuroscientist in the laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth Phelps at New York University. Dr. Dougal has authored peer-reviewed articles in leading scientific journals and presented her research at international conferences.